Time for a change of spirit

Nicole Stejskal

As the weather cools down entering the fall months, things begin to heat up on campus. Sports teams take the field or court for season openers, auditions commence for theater productions and musicians fine tune halftime and concert performances.

However, one thing that hasn’t seemed to fire up in the past is student involvement in events like these. Comedians and hypnotists attract large audiences across campus, but when it comes to actually supporting fellow students and their activities, most of us lose the enthusiasm, essentially, we let the fire die.

Now, I wouldn’t be making claims like this unless I knew the situation from experience. As part of a music ensemble, I know what it’s like to work several weeks on a concert performance, only to hear the music reverberate off of bare walls and empty seats. The same can be true for theater productions. And as surprising as it may seem, I have attended several sporting events, including football and basketball games, where the only students in attendance were members of the band.

This isn’t true in every situation, and I understand that. But while we may have some of the highest “average” rankings in attendance numbers for sports, I can guarantee that those numbers are swayed by attendance for big games against Emporia State or Pittsburgh State (Believe me, there’s no way we have 2,261 fans at every game – the reported average for women’s basketball).

What we as students have to realize is that every event is important, not just the ones that feature school rivals, famous bands or popular plays. The students who work hard in these activities go above and beyond the typical routines of college students to represent our university on a variety of levels. And they deserve our support and respect.

I encourage everyone to make an extra effort throughout the year to attend more student events on campus. In a time where the university faces problems with budget, enrollment and retention, it’s important to show the pride we have in our school. By supporting our fellow students, we can prove to prospective students, parents and the community that despite hard times, the university and its students still stand strong.

With Washburn implementing a strategic plan to work toward change, I think it is essential that we work toward change ourselves. We need to readjust our attitudes, habits and behaviors. Say no to the “I don’t have time” excuse. Students say no to it every day as they make these activities a part of their lives and the life of this campus.

We have the power to change and make this year different. So get involved-light the fire.